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Sep14-05, 09:31 AM
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The first battles.

Finally, on August 26, 55 BC, two Roman Legions (about 10,000 soldiers) under Caesar's personal command crossed the channel in a group of transport ships leaving from Portus Itius (today's Boulogne). By the next morning (August 27), as Caesar reports, the Roman ships were just off the chalky cliffs of Dover, whose upper banks were lined with British warriors prepared to do battle. The Romans therefore sailed several miles further northeast up the coastline and landed on the flat, pebbly shore around Deal.

The Britons met the legionaries at the beach with a large force, including warriors in horse-drawn chariots, an antiquated fighting method not used by the Roman military. After an initial skirmish, the British war leaders sought a truce, and handed over hostages.